Geek Week

Recently, I have had my geek status called into question. At the same time, my husband and I ran out of shows to watch on DVD. Seeing an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and geekify my life while providing evening entertainment, I took suggestions on what we should watch next. As I am very cheap, the only actual criteria was that the show be available as a free loan from my library. Therefore, no Dr. Who for me. We started out with Firefly/Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Battlestar Galactica. And here’s what I thought. If you’ve never seen these shows before, there may be some spoilers. I did include links in case there is someone more out of the loop than I am.

photo from wikipedia

Firefly:

Can’t talk about it. Still crying in my heart a little. Okay, more than a little. And I am so late discovering this one that I will never have a Malcolm Reynolds action figure to put under my pillow. I cannot believe that this show was taken off the air but Dancing With the Stars is still around. There is little hope for this world.

What I could do without: the naughty bits. They add nothing to the show and prevent me from sharing it with my kids.

photo from wikipedia

Buffy:

Another creation by Joss Whedon, which was why we decided to check it  out.

Premise: Ridiculous. A teenager worrying about pimples, dating and killing vampires.

Acting: Abysmal.

Will we watch again? You’d better believe it. The preposterous nature is what sells it. And we’ve only seen episode 1, Season 1. As the cast gels, I would imagine the acting gets better.

photo from wikipedia. Where else?

 

Battlestar Galactica: Okay, this may the point where someone revokes my probationary geek card. And tears it into tiny pieces.  And poops on it.

I didn’t like it. I wanted to like it. Didn’t like it. I never got the opportunity to watch as a kid. It tended to come on at the same time my family was getting churched up. I was intrigued by the awesome toys, and I was curious about the show, but the rare Sunday evenings when I was home, I had missed so much that it made no sense. I was hoping that catching the new series would somehow make up for what I missed as a kid. And maybe that’s too much burden for one television show to bear.

There were a few things I did like. The acting was really good for a bunch of B-or-lower list actors shooting together for what I am assuming was the first time. We watched the miniseries, not the actual series, so it is a reasonable assumption that this one was shot and aired first. Am I right?

The visual effects were great. I have no idea what was green screen and what was actual set. The show definitely looked big-budget without being over-the-top.

The villain was real. He was not 100% evil with no heart. He was a greedy, cowardly genius who made a big, fat, stupid mistake. He could be anybody. He possesses those traits buried in all of us that will one day lead to our downfall.

And here’s what I didn’t like. It was slow. Slow to get to any real action, slow to ask the questions that were already in my head. If they can’t address the obvious, there is no way they can survive. I have no interest in devoting my time to a hopeless mission.

Here’s what they’re going to have to do something with if I’m going to continue watching.

Perpetuation of the species: Having been involved with a zoo for 10 years, I know a little about the Species Survival Plan. 50,000 humans is a pretty decent-sized gene-pool to work with. But they’re going to have to get on it, so to speak. There’s no time for people to develop actual relationships. They’re just going to have to knock ’em up. Soon.

Immediate survival needs: At one point, they ran out of ammunition and had to go get more. Um, hello? What might you need more than bullets? Maybe some food? Water? Even Serenity ran out of air once. It is science fiction. I am totally willing to suspend some reality to get these needs met. Anything short of Reavers sending fruit baskets works in my book. But they have to address it. Mention that you’re recycling pee or are farming water on a distant planet with two suns, but acknowledge the problem.

Perpetuation of Knowledge: They’re going to have to set up some kind of trade schools. They’re going to need people who can make clothes, build ship components, repair computers, and good Lord, they’re going to need doctors.

Government: They can’t have an Executive Officer and a President and leave it at that. Recipe for disaster. Although continual clashes between the two might make for riveting television, it makes no actual sense to have no backup plan.

Get rid of the bowl cut: The kid can stay, but do him a favor and give him a real haircut. It was bizarre in 1978, and it’s completely unacceptable now. If that is how they treat their kids, they don’t deserve to survive.

Will I watch again? Yes. Conditionally. The only episode on Season 1/Disc 1 is the miniseries. I’ll get on the list for disc 2 and see what happens.

What other recommendations do you have? I’d prefer shows that are clean with minimal use of potty-mouth if possible.

The Sorted Details

The Official Logo. Courtesy of Pottermore,com

I am cool. I have an early invitation to Pottermore. A friend signed me up a couple of months ago. You wish you had friends like that. Actually, you should. She’s awesome. Here’s the fun part. Early admittance didn’t actually mean we could get into the site early. We still had to wait for our letter to arrive (via email, not owl) in order to fully access all the features. But mine arrived this morning. I got in early. The site isn’t open to everyone until October, which is, um Saturday. . So I guess that means I rock, but only a little more than the average person. Having received notification that I am just to the right of ordinary, I logged in. Or I tried to.

Now, I’m not here to offer any spoilers or anything. I am pretty sure there were Terms of Service that I agreed to. I know I must have promised not to tell anyone anything cool about the site. Since I’m in the cool-kid club and got in early and all. If I violate the terms, a mountain troll will probably poop on my lawn. So call me the secret keeper. I say nothing about what I see. Except this:

They’re beta-testing the site, and I hope someone over there is taking notes. I can’t get in. Once I’m in, I can’t stay in. And if I stay in, I am not sure how to get where I am going. And once I am there, it takes me forever to figure out how to get where I have been. Nothing makes sense. Kind of like Facebook. Pottermore is the new social network for geeks.

I have no idea what I am doing, and I can’t find a tutorial. Not sure how to see the stuff I want to see. I know people have been sorted into houses because I have been subjected to them via my Twitter feed for the last two weeks. But how do I get there? I want to be sorted, too, but every time I think I have moved a bit forward, I get kicked off the site. The servers can’t handle the volume of users without suddenly shutting people out. I have not been able to stay on for longer than a minute and a half yet, and it’s only open to a million people so far.

It’s a total time-suck. The precious hour I wasted messing about on the site getting absolutely nowhere was time I need to spend writing. Or cleaning. Or eating. Or all three. I spent significantly more time trying to log in than I actually did exploring. I found the whole mess to be tedious and frustrating. I may actually have yelled at my computer once. Okay, twice. An entire hour of my life I will never get back.

So my user name is WolfsbaneNight8. I’ll be back on again the moment I can. Look me up, and we can be friends! Yes, I know. I have a problem. You don’t need to point it out, but thanks.

The Rudest Awakening

I thought I knew who I was. I built my whole life around and identity I thought was my own, and now I see I have been living a lie. I was shattered this week when the catalog arrived, one I had not ordered but found intriguing. But as I flipped through it, my whole life came tumbling down as the realization hit me. I am not a geek.

I’ve spent years being referred to as a geek. After all, if I dress like this and enter Harry Potter costume contests, what does that make me? Certainly not normal.

Laugh if you want. I won. I AM Trelawney.

But apparently, dressing your baby like this:

Maybe I could get in the club if I had used permanent marker to make the scar.

 

does not get you in the club. Now I have read the catalog, and I realize the many ways that I am not a geek.

I don’t get the whole bacon thing: Bacon is greasy, high in fat, salty and terrible. Tastes okay and all, but eating that stuff will kill you. I tried cooking with bacon recently. For my husband’s sake. But at the last second, I totally chickened out and bought turkey bacon. Which according to my husband is not even a reasonable substitute.

I am no whiz at chemistry or physics– I like the idea of chemistry, with all that bonding and stuff, but I could never balance an equation. Mine always tilted to one side.

I have never watched Dr. Who– It’s not available at my library, and I don’t have cable. And I won’t just buy a DVD because *gasp* there’s a chance I might not actually like it.

I don’t have cable–  And therefore I cannot watch Dr. Who. It’s a vicious geek-prevention cycle.

I have never participated in a role-playing game– A couple of weeks ago, we thought we had been transported to Middle Earth because the mountain was never-ending. But none of us had powers. And no one thought it was funny but me.

I am not interested in Zombies– I don’t actually get that fascination, either. Why are smart people so fascinated with a creature that wants to eat their brain? It’s like a cow watching McDonald’s commercials.

I have never played Rock Band– I play two online games, but interest in both is fading, and one is going off-line in a few months anyway.

I don’t like the right TV shows– Star Trek (any generation) bores me to tears, I have no idea what a Tardis is, and Star Wars is only mildly appealing. I do only like the original trilogy, though, so that should give me some bonus points, right?

I don’t have gadgets– I don’t have a cell-phone (i- , smart, or otherwise), and I have no idea what Angry Birds actually is. My daughter tried to tell me about it, but I think she may have been kidding. There aren’t actually pigs involved, right?

I am not up on the latest technology– I’m not a techno-phobe, and I’ve taught myself some cool stuff on the computer, but I am not exactly a genius at it, either. I can update my flash and browser, post pictures, figure out blogging sites, but I am still not exactly sure what an RSS feed is and how it can be my friend. And to me, writing code means leaving a note for my husband that the boys can’t read. It’s called “cursive.” Linux is a mystery to me, as well. Wasn’t he the kid with the blanket on Charlie Brown?

So there you have it. I know what I am not. But here’s the good news. I don’t have to be a geek. I came across another epithet that is hurled with the same amount of scorn and derision. I am a “mommy-blogger.” It’s good to know who I am.